Link (Thanks, Maureen!)
What is so interesting about this game? After all, the executable file is only 78M, the pictures are crude, the scenes are spare, the copyright is suspect (because it borrows a great deal of material from other games), the lone server is unstable and the financial sponsor is the Communist Party Disciplinary Committee of the Haishu district in Ningbo city.
The reason for the public interest is that the hero of the game is a "honest and upright official" whose assignment is to weed out corrupt officials, along with their children and mistresses. Here 'weed out' does not 'putting in jail' -- it means using weapons, wizardry and torture to kill them. There are 165 characters taken from history. On your side are the famous clean officials such as Hai Rui and Lord Bao. On the opposite side are the famous corrupt officials such as Zhao Gao, Huo Shen and others who exhibit different degrees of power (=corruption) as indicated by the gauge levels over their heads. When you kill a corrupt official, you gain experience points. For example, killing the eunuch official Wei Zhongxian gains you 100 experience points. As you accumulate points, you increase your powers for "Combatting corruption," "Moral character" and "Degree of being corruption free" instead of "life," "magic" and "strength" in other kinds of games. Your ultimate goal is to reach
, where "the birds sing, the flowers give out fragrance, the people are full of love and harmony, the nation is prospering and the world is calm and peaceful."
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.